Who ranks where in Google News feeds
Experts who specialise in search engine optimisation (SEO) and work with some of the world's leading news sites have joined forces in a bid to demystify the way Google ranks its news.
In the Google News Ranking Factors 2011 survey SEO representatives, whose job it is to help news providers like the New York Times, HuffingtonPost and CNN to stay relevant online, came together to identify the main factors that influence news rankings.
The top five factors reported to have a significant impact on Google news rankings were: category authority, key words in headlines and title pages, domain authority, social sharing of article and being the first to publish a story.
The last point may seem straightforward enough – breaking news tends to rank well in search – but some of the other factors may need a bit of further explanation.
Category authority refers to a publication's credibility within a certain area.
The example given in the survey mentions an association between ESPN and sport coverage, given that this particular news provider is know for its sports reports.
In Australia a similar link could be made between ninemsn News and coverage of the cricket.
The importance of key words in both headlines and title pages came in second on the list of must-have features if you want to stay in the news.
Using keywords in articles is an effective way of linking users to your main website and increasing the flow of organic traffic to your site, which in turn boosts rankings.
Increasing online traffic requires original content, which is regularly updated in order to remain fresh and relevant to users.
Domain authority means that a news source not only reports the latest stories but also has a robust SEO presence, which can be enhanced by things like keywords.
Finally, the word social might be a giveaway, but social sharing happens when a news article is shared by users via social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The list may seem daunting, but following its advice could prove beneficial for companies wanting to boost their brand and attract online audiences.